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Monday, March 19, 2007

Now it can be told.  Here is the Nifty Surprise, about which I’ve been so cagey:

cavalcade of dishcloths

These would be a collection of handknit cotton dishcloth, made from patterns found in the superb and nifty Mason-Dixon Knitting, two from the book, one from the blog that started it all.  (If you have not made acquaintance with Kay and Ann, the whipsmart and eloquent minds behind MDK, you really should, particularly if you are having a bad day and are in need of some mood elevation.  You need not be a knitter to be utterly charmed by Kay and Ann—but if you *are* a knitter, beware:  You’ll start off deciding that you’d like some of those nice dishcloths of your own, and the next thing you know, you’ll be looking at the pima cotton that you ordered to make dozens of socks, and deciding that what you really want to do with it is make a Log Cabin bedspread, but since you only have enough room for a small blanket, you’re going to need more cotton.  Not that I speak from experience.  Heavens, no.)

But I digress.  The dishcloths were a bridal-shower present for my beloved Julie, who likewise elevates moods at A Finger in Every Pie, and who will be getting married in May.  As everyone lucky enough to know her already knows, Julie is no slouch in the kitchen.  This is a good thing for intense delighted foodie conversations between us over a bowl of noodles at Republic, but a little tricky in terms of figuring out what to give the woman with an intimidatingly well-equipped kitchen.  As it turned out, the dishcloths were one of the few bright ideas I’ve had this winter:  they were quick to put together; they gave me an opportunity to play with color combinations; they do the job for which they were created to do, and they do it well (trust someone who has her own set of dishcloths, and who spills something about once every seventeen seconds—they really do the job); and best of all, Julie really loved them—which is what I was aiming for all along.  smile

In other news, if you peruse my comment field on the previous post, you will see an imperial-weight formula—two formulae, actually, a small batch and a large batch—from PJ Hamel at King Arthur Flour.  (Confidential to my fellow King Arthur groupies:  Yep, THAT PJ Hamel.  I am proud to call her a friend and baking mentor, and even prouder to say that she is every bit as charming, giving and just plain cool in person as she is in print.) We are one step close to an actual, proper, posted russenzopf recipe.  (I know that many of you have emailed me asking for the recipe, and I promise, email from me will be forthcoming.) I’m actually flirting with the idea of posting a tutorial on this, but even if my ambition far exceeds my reach, there will, at least, be a recipe at the end of it all.

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